Are Fishermen Covered By Maritime Law?
As one of the oldest maritime professions in the world, fishermen are constantly at risk for injury and accident due to the hazardous environments they frequently find themselves working in. Rough seas, improperly maintained equipment, the carelessness of the shipowner or their coworkers – fishermen face a lot of dangers out on the high seas, and injuries are common.
If you work on a commercial fishing vessel within the United States, or on a vessel that flies the American flag, you’re covered by maritime law in the event of an injury. These laws, commonly referred to as the Jones Act, cover workers in the event that their injury is found to be caused by carelessness on the boat owner’s fault, whether through negligence, lack of proper safety equipment, or any other cause that demonstrates a lack of responsibility on the owner’s part. These laws have helped compensate and protect fishermen just like you for nearly a hundred years, and they can be your greatest asset in the event of injury on the job.
What Are Some Common Causes Fishing Vessel Accidents?
Fishing vessels can face a lot of potential hazards out there, but among the most commonly-seen are those caused by accident or negligence:
- Co-employee negligence
- Equipment malfunction
- Inadequate equipment
- Inadequate manpower
- Improper work procedures
- Inclement weather
- Failure to provide a safe place to work
and many others. The majority of fishing vessel injuries stem from the negligence of a shipowner or a coworker’s dereliction in their duties, and these injuries can have lifelong effects on a worker’s ability to continue earning wages or to lead the lifestyle they did before their accident.
What Can I Do If I Am Injured While Working On A Fishing Boat?
Many times after one of their employees is injured, ship owners will try to find ways to settle out of court for an amount far less than what the employee is truly entitled to because of their injury. Before you talk to your employer at all about the incident, you need to contact an experienced maritime injury lawyer like O’Bryan Baun Karamanian.
We’ve got the skills, experience, and attitude needed to stand up to the big shipping companies and their hotshot lawyers, and with our focus on maritime law (as opposed to more general injury law like so many other law firms) we know exactly what to do to fight for your rights in court. Contact us today for a free case consultation and let us get you the justice and compensation you deserve.